What Are Suboxone and Benzodiazepine Interactions?
Individuals who struggle with chemical dependence tend to abuse more than one drug. Over the past 5 years, national surveys across the United States have revealed an increasing tendency to combine prescription opioids and anti-anxiety drugs. This practice of using multiple drugs is called multiple drug abuse. Generally, people engage in this practice for several reasons. The prime reasons include:
- The mixture is known to provide a synergistic or new effect
- The mixture decreases the effects of another drug, thus allowing sustained use
- A drug is cheaper, more available, or fashionable
While these are wrong reasons to combine drugs, the reality is that millions of Americans do just that every year. Furthermore, as the possession of prescription drugs tends to skirt the law, they are more desirable compared to cheaper illicit drugs. Prescription drugs are more accessible to adolescents who pilfer relative’s prescriptions for recreational experiments. Among the objects of this dangerous practice are Suboxone and Benzodiazepines.
What Happens When You Mix Suboxone and Benzos
Suboxone is a combination drug containing buprenorphine and naloxone. Due to its narcotic properties, Suboxone is solely used to treat people struggling with long-term chemical dependence. The drug works by blocking opioid receptors and consequently reducing cravings for illicit opioids. In people who obtain the drug for experimentation, Suboxone can be habit-forming and carry a risk of fatal overdose. This is because when Suboxone acts to produce euphoria, it also lowers the user’s respiration rate. In high doses, this can be fatal.
On the other hand, benzodiazepines refer to a class of drugs used to manage anxiety. Popularly known as benzos, they are very effective at managing anxiety. However, they also bear a strong risk of chemical dependence and even overdose. A common example is Xanax.
By combining Suboxone with Benzos, the user seeks to amplify the potency of both drugs to produce a more intense and longer-lasting high. While Suboxone has a half-life of 24 hours, Xanax lasts for 6 to 10 hours. According to health experts, a combination of Suboxone and a Benzodiazepine like Xanax carries a major risk of undesirable interactions. These include dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, as well as impairment in thinking, judgment, and motor coordination. Most importantly, there is a very high risk of severe chemical dependence and fatal overdose.
Treatment for Polydrug Addiction
Combining drugs without the advice of a physician is a dangerous practice. On its own, Suboxone is very helpful for people who need it, i.e. within a program such as medication-assisted therapy (MAT). Likewise, Benzodiazepines help people with chronic anxiety manage their condition.
However, the effects outweigh the perceived benefits of combining drugs. In a healthy person, it damages physical and mental health. In persons struggling with chemical dependence, multiple drug abuse worsens their condition.
If you are struggling with the habit of the drug combination, there is hope with professional help. Recovery specialists will create an individualized program for you based on the circumstances surrounding the habit. Rehab is done in a safe environment and staff will make your stay as comfortable as possible. Let NJ Addiction Resources help you find the best-fit rehab program near you.